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Highway Safety Films, Inc.Signal 30 (Part I) (1959)

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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Legendary "shock" driving safety film featuring numerous scenes of mutilated cars and injured/dead people and a voiceover lacking in compassion. Produced in cooperation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and shown to millions of young drivers for over 40 years. CONTENT ADVISORY: Many disturbing scenes of violent deaths and accident scenes; cries of crash victims on soundtrack.



This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Producer: Highway Safety Films, Inc.
Sponsor: Ohio State Highway Patrol (indirectly)
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Safety: Automotive; Ohio; Police

Creative Commons license: Public Domain


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Reviews
Average Rating: 4.38 out of 5 stars4.38 out of 5 stars4.38 out of 5 stars4.38 out of 5 stars4.38 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: Dragonfighter - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - August 24, 2009
Subject: My dad...
I remember my dad talking about these films when I was getting ready for driver's ed in 1975. I did not expect to see him, albeit younger, actually in the film. I only had vague childhood memories of "The Flying Wheels" days. That's him in the opening, talking on the car radio and in a couple of other scenes (briefly).

It brought the point home to me and scared my wife out of driving until she was 20. I HAVE to give it 5 stars.

Reviewer: argon99 - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - April 24, 2009
Subject: Some things never change
I live in a small town and recently the woman that was in charge of drivers safty was killed in a single car accident. The reason she was killed was she wasn't wearing her seat belt!!! I'm I the only one that sees this as a perfect example of whats wrong with our school system?

Reviewer: blondeweezie - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 19, 2009
Subject: You older drivers werent' the only ones-
They showed this film to us in the fall of 1989 as part of our driver's ed program. I thought my generation was very insensitive with violence, most of us growing up with MTV and video games, but the thing I remember the most is the LONG silence after the instructor shut off the film, followed by a mass exodus to the bathroom. ( It probably wasn't a good idea to show this right after lunch.) I can say that we had a safer group of drivers than my friend's class across town.
Turns out that this film has been frightening my family for generations. My father saw it in 1960 as part of his driver's ed, my cousin saw it in 1980, and I saw it in 1989.

Reviewer: MUTANGANA JEAN BAPTISTE - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - March 30, 2009
Subject: to interrest
not yet watch just my first watching for inerresting other camarade

Reviewer: Noah 8-? - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - July 29, 2008
Subject: It's not easy being Green
During the final week of High School, when all the tests were done, the textbooks turned in, the annuals being signed, etc. the teachers decided to show Signal 30 and a few more of these ever so graphic 'educational' films (Including equally graphic VD and shop safety films)to fill out a morning. Unfortunately that afternoon after a hardly touched lunch, the entire graduating class was to attend a special blessing church service at the Pentacostal Holiness Church just down the street. This was a Class 'B' school (between 500 to 1000 studii)in the days before the ACLU Interference. I can still remember our class sitting in the rear pews and the first hymn being something like "There's Power in the Blood". A few of us needed a little air and quietly filed out before all four verses were sung.... Then came something like "Washed White as Snow in the Blood Drawn from Immanuel's Veins.." A few more left for the refreshment of the 90+ degree late May heat outside. Finally came "Bathed in a Fountain of Blood" and that did it! The rest of us staggered out to call it a day.
There was enough green among that class that we could have passed for invasion troops.
Noah 8-?

Reviewer: Real Kold War Kid - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - October 19, 2007
Subject: Still Just As Scary
I saw this in high school in the early 70s, along with others of the same type. I still found it bothersome. I think a couple of other posters here are right; some kids who are "too cool for school" would joke and sneer at it. Maybe it's time for a new "Signal 30" with footage of teenagers involved in fatal MVAs.

Reviewer: Bob63 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - June 5, 2007
Subject: Signal 30: Indelible Memories
This film is one that was shown to my Driver's Ed class, and I not only remember it, I've told several people about it, including my children. I graduated in 1981 from Ontario, only a few miles from where the opening sequences were shot.

We were told by our Driver's Ed teacher that the term "Signal 30" came from the fact that the majority of the accidents filmed occurred on US 30, which was a main east-west highway prior to the construction of the Interstate Highway system.

I also was shown this film as part of my orientation program, shortly after my arrival at NAS Memphis, a US Navy training facility. I got a big kick out of seeing grown men turn green!

I've only watched the streaming version so far; considering the age and makeup of my system it would probably be unfair to comment on the quality. It was good enough to really remind me of the class, though. If you have children who are getting their license, or just got them, I highly recommend showing them this film and its sequel, particularly as most Driver's Ed programs don't show it due to its graphic nature.

Reviewer: reactorbear - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - November 9, 2006
Subject: A must see for all young drivers
This was shown when I was in 8th grade(many moons ago) and it has left a permanent impact.

It probably would not be allowed to be shown in schools today due to its graphical nature. I am sure some of the parents who complain would be ones that let their children see slasher movies and watch CSI.

Too bad. The film was not meant to shock as much as show there is a consequence (and possibly a gruesome and deadly consequence) for one's action. Often not a popular concept in today's society.

If it were shown in today's classroom, students would sneer and laugh trying to show they are more cool and more sophisticated (of which they are neither) than the 1959 audiences who watched it....all except those in the class who lost a mother, father, brother or sister in a car accident.

Other than the age of the cars, nothing keeps the film from being as powerful today as it was nearly fifty years ago when it was produced. Despite improved safety features on modern cars, we still have thousands (literally) of individuals who never return home from a car trip.

The main theme, as the narrator often brings up, is there is a cost for acting stupid.

As far as a fatal car accident, everyone thinks it can't happen to them. I bet the individuals in this movie who lost their lives thought the same thing.

Reviewer: anakin - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - July 6, 2006
Subject: As pertinent Today as Ever
Every young person should see this film, though today's teens think they are too jaded for this "back in the day" fare. They are wrong-the same careless, reckless attitude can make them an unwilling star in their own graphic film. I saw this film back in junior high, and it was the first uncensored look at the aftermath of vehicle accidents I and most of my classmates had seen. It was disturbing, to say the least. The message is there in stark images and words.

Reviewer: blackbirdy - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - July 12, 2005
Subject: What fantastic bombastic music!
Pretty gory and nasty because it features real life deaths. Over here in Ireland we get shock adverts about driving which are fairly gruesome but dont have as much impact. I have wanted to see this one for ages, now to check out Part 2. God Im such a rubbernecker.......

Reviewer: Bill T. - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 4, 2005
Subject: Think of the cows people!!
Well, finally got around to this one, and yes, this is as bad as they say as far as the gore footage is concerned. I just love the narrator too who you can almost detect a secret glee in being the narrator throughout this mad tale. Although it's almost nothing but grim car crash footage, I juse LOVE the beginning with the police officer taking the phone call and his delirious bad acting "2 people are dead you say?" lol. Not a bad film for what it is.

Reviewer: iljc116 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - October 18, 2004
Subject: Viewers still need Depends today
I took driver's ed when I was 16 back in 2002, and they still show these kinds of films. I didn't watch this exact one, but one very similar to it, and it was also done by a state highway patrol, possibly Ohio. Of course, most of the people in my class didn't take it seriously and acted really morbid through it...at least we're not the class that asked the teacher to replay a part of a film with a guy flying out of a truck windshield over and over again.

Reviewer: Inkstained Psyche - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 3, 2004
Subject: Driver's Ed Films
I graduated from high school back in the 1970's and I clearly remember seeing this film when I took driver's ed at school. I have three kids who are currently enrolled in driver's ed and I was telling them about seeing these shock (or is that schlock?) films with gory traffic accidents in them. I wondered if they still showed them. Yep, they do. It's a private driving school, not a high school class, but they showed them Signal 30 the other day. Alas, the instructor didn't give them barf bags before it started. That's what my wacko teacher did (he was a little on the strange side).

But this brought back a lot of memories. I'm glad cars are safer now and that we have paramedics who are trained to deal with the aftermath of a collision, instead of just standing around gawking like everyone was in the film.

People still drive stupidly, though.

Reviewer: ahjahn - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 27, 2004
Subject: Signal 30
I grew up in Columbus, OH and I remember watching this particular movie in Driver's Ed class, something that I still remember thirty years later. I agree that it is still an effective movie even after 45 years.

The 1950s automobiles are fascinating to watch as well.

As an aside, I believe that Wayne Byers was a news reporter on WBNS-TV Channel 10 in Columbus in the late 1950s and early 60s.

Reviewer: Sally381966 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 24, 2004
Subject: Signal 30 part 1 & 2,Very Effective Educational Film Still Today
My father(A Korean War Veteran) worked as a Ohio Highway Patrol Auxiliary from 1958-1975 and helped at the scenes of these accidents when The Highway Foundation filmed these for Driver's Education. He is in this film at the scene where the truck driver was crushed when he fell asleep with a load of steel, over near Cardington, Ohio.
He also knew of the man Wayne C. Byers ( Highway Safety ) whose voice you hear talking about each accident.
This is back in the days where EMS wasn't available.
I had received a copy of this film on VHS through The Ohio Department Of Safety because of its historical and personal nature of the film to me and can say that after seeing this film and knowing how serious this subject is to my father; I am a better driver.
I know Wayne Byers may sound cold in his naration of the film but it was done so to stick into your mind.
I know that these scenes are hard to take, but if you had to deal with this everyday, you understand just "Why" they look this way and come away with a better respect for life and not to take it for granted.
I believe the reason why its effectiveness seems to not reflect in today's driving habits is because they were pulled out of driver's education for a while. With some of the carelessness that happens today and the lack of knowing what can happen makes us kinda blow it off, that is why I admire these Ohio Patrolmen who gave us a glimpse of their job.
Resounding a "Please take care behind the wheel, a car can be a useful tool and not a weapon"
The Ohio State Patrol also helped in the production of other Driver's Education Films such as: Mechanized Death(1961), Wheels Of Tragedy(1963), Highways Of Agony (1969) and Options To Live(1979)
Each film leaves a lasting impression!

Reviewer: Umass_Kid - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - January 29, 2004
Subject: Blood Guts and Gore
Very hard to stomach this Flick, though very entreating never the less. Great images for 1950ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs Autos. Creep narration adds to the Already Over the top Music. Best seen was the ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂtrainingÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ that all State parole Personal get.
Additional scenes to Check out are the numerous charred bodies.

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